The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines congratulates thefor its decision to heed the plea of a community journalist in Mindoro Oriental and grant his petition for a writ of amparo. It was the first ever granted protection order for a journalist.
The High Court, in an en banc meeting on March 11, issued the writ in behalf of Nilo Baculo. It ordered respondents, Calapan City Mayor Paulino Salvador Leachon, the vice mayor, three councilors, five former councilors, and five others, to make a verified return of the writ within five working days.
A hearing will be held on March 18, 2008, 2 p.m at the Court of Appeals to decide on the continuance of the case.
Baculo, a former broadcaster and host of radio show “Isumbong mo kay Ka Nilo” and publisher of Traveler’s News, a local tabloid, has exposed alleged corruption in the city. He has also been assisting three minors who have allegedly been trafficked.
The NUJP Media Safety Office responded to Baculo’s cry for assistance after he learned of the alleged plot to kill him.
Baculo is now in hiding.
The NUJP earlier said that while it has been informed that Mr. Baculo is a “controversial personality,” the group maintains that “this does not detract from the fact that the threat to [Baculo]’s life stems from his reports of alleged official wrongdoing whose subjects now seek to silence him.”
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